According to a new study from two Harvard University scientists, Trump administration’s environmental policies could result in an additional 80,000 deaths per decade.
The research, conducted by public health economist David Cutler and biostatistician Francesca Dominici, addressed the health impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies on air pollutants and toxic chemicals.
“This sobering statistic captures only a small fraction of the cumulative public health damages associated with the full range of rollbacks and systemic actions proposed by the Trump administration,” the scientists said.
The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association as a commentary, and not a formal peer-reviewed paper. However, it uses the EPA’s own data to make its argument.
Meanwhile, the EPA pushed back on the findings, saying they were “not scientific.”
“This is not a scientific article, it’s a political article. The science is clear, under President Trump greenhouse gas emissions are down, Superfund sites are being cleaned up at a higher rate than under President Obama, and the federal government is investing more money to improve water infrastructure than ever before,” an EPA spokesperson told Bloomberg.
The study accuses President Donald Trump of making the air “dirtier” in order to benefit the industry.
“A central feature of his agenda is environmental damage: making the air dirtier and exposing people to more toxic chemicals,” the scientists claim. “The beneficiaries, in contrast, will be a relatively few well-connected companies.”
Scott Pruitt has rolled back numerous environmental policies, including former President Obama’s landmark Clean Power Plan, and multiple regulations intended to curb fuel emissions and maintain water quality.
This week, the EPA rewrote the Clean Water Rule in order to make it more industry-friendly.
Trump has also been criticized for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, and for praising Pruitt for the EPA’s regulatory rollbacks.